Researchers reveal which forms of neighborhoods get bedbugs

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The “dramatic resurgence” of bedbugs has not plagued Americans equally, according to a new, creepy study from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

The researchers followed and found inspection reports of 21,340 buildings in Chicago from 2006 to 2018 Bedbugs thrive in poorer areas. The strongest predictor of infestation was low household income and, to a lesser extent, high clearance rate and crowd. The researchers were quite surprised at the high correlations.

The districts in which bed bugs are common also suffer disproportionately from other health problems. “The map of where people are most at risk of bed bugs looks like the same areas where more children have asthma, carry in the blood and probably even COVID-19,” says co-author Daniel Schneider, biologist and professor of urban planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

No link has been found between bedbug infestations and educational attainment, and it is also no more likely that bedbugs are found in areas with mostly rented units. This was all news: Bedbugs are notoriously difficult to track as residents report themselves to local governments and reporting patterns vary by race and income, among other things.

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